It’s hard to believe we’re already closing in on the holidays. Thanksgiving is fast-approaching, and Christmas isn’t far behind. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s not forget what season is currently upon us – open enrollment!
We know, you already have more than enough on your plate right now (especially now that we just mentioned the holidays), and we hate to be the ones to add something else to your list, but open enrollment is an important time of year. The decisions you make between now and December 15th will affect you for the entirety of 2021, and we want to help you stay informed so that you can make the right insurance decisions for you and your family.
Dates and Deadlines for Health Insurance
When is it time to enroll?
The open enrollment period in North Carolina is the same every year. It begins November 1st and ends December 15th. Whatever insurance plan you enroll in during that time will go into effect on January 1st.
The open enrollment period was put in place to keep people from taking advantage of the system by signing up for health insurance right before undergoing a major procedure or immediately after finding out they need an expensive medication. Failing to enroll in health insurance coverage during the designated time means that you’ll be without health insurance for a year and be forced to wait for the next open enrollment period to get it.
There are, however, circumstances in which you can get insurance outside the open enrollment window.
Special Enrollment Period
What are the qualifications?
Some people qualify for a special enrollment period. Life events like losing other coverage, getting married, having a baby, or starting a new job typically make a person eligible for special enrollment. Additionally, those who qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can also apply any time.
Since Penny Insurance Agency’s clients are all 65 years old or more, some of these life events are unlikely to occur in the next year. Insurance through Penny is a Medicare supplement. We do not offer Obamacare/ACA plans or under 65 health insurance.
Renewing vs. Shopping Around
What’s in my best interests?
You can count on your insurance costs going up from one year to the next, but don’t wait for your bill in January to find out just how much it increased. Ask your insurance company during open enrollment how much you’ll be paying for coverage next year, and if it’s a number you’re not happy with, you may want to shop around.
We get it – it’s so much easier to just renew your current plan, but if you can get better coverage that’s consolidated and managed by professionals who actually care about your needs, then isn’t a little insurance shopping worth it?
Open Enrollment with Penny Insurance Agency
How does it work?
The great thing about working with Penny Insurance is that you don’t have to know exactly what insurance plan you want. Leave it to our team to find a comprehensive coverage plan that makes sense for you, and then we’ll provide the most up-to-date facts so that you can make an informed decision.
As monotonous and mundane as open enrollment seems (especially next to all of your fun holiday plans), the great news is you do not have to tackle it alone. Our experienced and knowledgeable agents are ready to help you through the process.
Contact us today if you’re interested in speaking with a Penny Insurance Agency representative. Your protection is our priority.
For more information about open enrollment check out the Open Enrollment 2021 Guide from healthinsurance.org or one of our older posts titled, Open Enrollment: What You Really Need to Know.
Every day has always looked different, but now more than ever, our days are unpredictable. Whether you’ve gone from working in an office to working remotely or learning to teach your kids virtually at home, we are all making adjustments every day. While tackling these challenges, we need to be reminded of the importance of cybersecurity. Since October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we urge you to take some time to determine how cyber safe you really are.
With COVID-19, working, and learning remotely has become a norm for many people. We are conducting meetings and classes via video, using messaging applications for quick communication, and sharing even more confidential information virtually. While it’s great to have these tools at our fingertips, what are we sacrificing to use them? That question unpacks many more questions involving hacking, phishing, spam, illegitimacy, and more. We must protect our information at all costs, but if compromises do occur, Penny Insurance offers Cyber Liability Insurance.
One of the biggest threats to cybersecurity is email phishing. People use email daily to communicate for work and personal life and we are seeing an increase in the number of phishing emails. There are a few ways to check emails and determine if they are legitimate. One way is to look for grammar mistakes. If the subject line or body of the email include grammar mistakes, this may be a quick way to rule out if the email is valid. Another way to check is if the email asks for personal information or has links to websites you are not familiar with. You should delete emails with these prompts right away. It’s easy for hackers to embed viruses and tracking bugs in links, so you should never click on an unknown link.
Some other threats to your cybersecurity that you should be aware of, include video privacy, WiFi hacking, spam calls, and illegitimate job postings. Especially during these times, we are using video communication, working on our home’s WiFi, receiving many calls, and possibly looking for a job. It is important to read the privacy policies from these service providers before sharing confidential information while using them. Another privacy tip is to never share personal or financial information with anyone you are unsure of. Make sure you have proof that you are sharing with a confidential source and not a scam.
Most scams are easy to overlook, so taking the time to double-check the information you are receiving is a simple way to avoid being a victim. In general, you should always be on the lookout for illegitimate information. Even if you take precautions, our technologically advanced world makes it easier than ever for your information to be compromised. Make sure you have our Cyber Liability Insurance, so in the event of a security breach, your information is safe.
It’s already here, the last hoorah of Summer – Labor Day. You’ve worked hard to enjoy this long weekend and we want to make sure you don’t have anything to worry about. Whether you’re planning to take the boat out on the lake, grill in the backyard, or travel to a new location, there are always risks involved. Your safety is of the utmost importance to us, so knowing the risks and insurance options available is crucial.
Boats are a great way to get out on the water and enjoy the warm summer weather, however, we want you to know the risks involved before you take them. As with anything, there is a risk of personal injury. Boating personal injuries include but are not limited to, electric shock drowning and propeller accidents. Always check your surroundings for a source of electricity in the water. If you are unsure of the water’s conditions, you can get an electric current detector. Another risk is a collision with another boat or object. With our Motorcycle, ATV, RV, and Boat Insurance, you can worry less about what happens if these scenarios occur.
Labor Day is notorious for grilling out in the backyard with family and friends. Even with grilling, there are risks you should be aware of. You should always make sure that children are kept away from the grill, to prevent any injuries. Also, reading the safety guidelines and rules for your grill is the best practice for keeping your grill functioning properly. Even with these precautions, unknown issues can arise. With a comprehensive liability policy, you can grill and relax without the burden of worrying about legal consequences if a mishap were to occur.
Are you planning to go on a socially-distanced weekend getaway? If you are, you should think about the risks of leaving your house alone and traveling in a vehicle. To take the best precautions, ask a neighbor to watch your house or set up a home security system. Regarding your travels in a vehicle, you should always make sure you have your routine maintenance up to date. If you take these simple precautions, you can lower the risks of a weekend getaway. To take extra precautions, our Homeowners Insurance and our Personal Vehicle Insurance are the best options for you.
Whether it’s boating, grilling, traveling, or other Labor Day weekend activities, always know you’re covered with Penny Insurance’s liability options. We want you to have a fun and safe lifestyle, without the worries of liability hanging over your head.
Accidents happen, especially when outdoor summer activities are involved. To be sure your
summer is filled with fun in the sun, be aware of these common liabilities and ways to avoid
1. Swimming Pools
Sadly, each year, numerous accidents, injuries, and deaths occur in pools. When allowing your
children or neighborhood friends to use the pool, be sure to keep a close watch on them.
Drowning can occur silently and in a matter of seconds, if there is not keen adult supervision in
place. Diving into pools can cause serious head injuries, paralyzation, and even death. Limit
and advise adults and children alike on how to safely enter the pool to avoid injuries. In addition,
adhere to your state’s recommendations and requirements for safety signage around your pool.
Though it is unpleasant to think about, accidents do happen. In the event of an accident, the
right liability coverage can protect you and your family from liability issues. A comprehensive
umbrella policy might be right for you. If you would like to know more about your options, give us
a call at (828) 692-9171
2. Bikes, ATV’s, Golf Carts, Skateboards, Scooters, and More
Anything with wheels can be fun, but can also be dangerous. If your children and their friends
enjoy activities like biking, riding four-wheelers, using skateboards and more, be sure to train
them on proper ways to enjoy these things, emphasize the importance of helmets, and invest in
an umbrella policy for an extra layer of liability protection. Outdoor activities like riding around
are certainly fun, but things can go wrong in the blink of an eye. Be sure to enjoy summer fun,
safely, and with a peace of mind.
3. Bonfires and Grills
Some of the best memories are made around bonfires in the summertime or grilling out on the
porch with friends. If you’re planning on enjoying bonfires or grilling out this summer, be sure to
take all the necessary precautions to keep you, your family, your friends, and your home safe.
Bonfires can easily get out of control and ashes can fly far distances into the air, which can burn
people and items. In addition, grills are one of the top causes for house fires during the summer.
Check to make sure your grill is in good working condition, remember to properly clean your grill
to prevent fires, and check your propane tank for any leaks.
4. Home Invasion
Summertime is the one of the most popular times for vacations and therefore vacant homes,
and home invaders know this. If you’re planning to leave town, let a neighbor know. They can
help keep an eye on your home while you’re away and collect your mail. Also, consider
investing in an alarm system to deter invaders. Most modern alarm systems can alert you
directly on your smartphone in the event of an invasion. Finally, be sure you have a
comprehensive home insurance policy in the event of a home invasion or burglary.
At Penny Insurance Agency, we want our clients to have a peace of mind knowing they are
covered, so they can soak up the sun and enjoy life’s best moments.
Hurricanes destroy countless homes each year and unfortunately, it is not a matter of if they occur, it is when they occur. If you live near the coast, or own a coastal rental or vacation home, having the right storm coverage is absolutely essential. Storms can be unpredictable– easily tearing down houses and causing overwhelming damage. Most typical home insurance policies do not cover flood or windstorm insurance, so it’s crucial to confirm that you have sufficient coverage before the storm hits.
While in most scenarios, storm damage is out of your control, there are some things you can do to prepare your home for hurricane season.
Have a plan in place, so that when a storm is on the horizon, you’re not frantic and can put the plan into action immediately. Determine a central meeting spot for your family so everyone knows where to go and what to do in an emergency situation. Plan out your evacuation route– where you will go for a safe destination during the storm, and make a checklist of all the necessary preparations that need to be made before you evacuate. With a plan already in place, you can take quick action and limit stress. If you do not have a hurricane plan, check out this helpful checklist: https://www.ready.gov/plan.
Confirm Your Insurance Coverage
The last thing you want to be doing in the event of a severe storm is wondering if you have the right coverage for your home and possessions. Confirm your insurance coverage ahead of time, so you can focus on evacuating and keeping your family safe during a storm. Most home insurance policies do not cover flooding damage or windstorm damage– two weather occurrences that go hand-in-hand with hurricanes. If you already know that your home is in a floodplain or the area is prone to flooding, do not wait to get flood insurance. If there are trees surrounding your home, you could be at risk for windstorm damage to your roof. Call before it’s too late. Our agents are here to provide you with coverage and peace of mind.
Inspect Your Home
Thoroughly inspect your home for areas of potential damage before a storm hits. While homeowners can usually detect possible problem areas, it is always a good idea to schedule appointments with professional inspectors to get an expert’s perspective. Check for low-hanging branches and trees that could come crashing down, check your roof for any weak spots, and check that your hurricane shutters are industry-approved and in working condition.
Prep Your Home
Lastly, if there is a hurricane warning or a storm approaching your area, be sure to properly prepare your home. If you have a generator, make sure it is in working condition and can switch on in the event of a power outage. Make sure there are no loose items in the yard like bikes or furniture that could fly around and break a window. Check all of your window seals, door locks, roof shingles…etc. to be sure that your house is in its best condition to weather the storm. Write a checklist ahead of time so you don’t have to frantically stress about making sure everything is done, and also so you know that you’ve done everything you can to prepare. Finally, make sure you have a “survival kit” with first aid items, food items, flashlights and more, so you can focus on keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
If you’re unsure of what your current insurance policies cover, or would like to know more about hurricane coverage, give our agents a call. We are here to help and provide a peace of mind.
As people in our local communities and beyond spend more time at home due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it may be a good time to review your current home insurance policies and assess your coverage. At Penny Insurance, we believe that every homeowner or renter deserves to be matched to the right policy. We take the time to get to know you, the area you live in, and understand the unique risks that your property is exposed to. We offer customized policies for Homeowners, High Value Homeowners, Renters, Condominium, Vacation/Seasonal Homeowners, Vacant Home Insurance, and Rental Property Insurance.
Homeowners or Renters Insurance
With our traditional Homeowners Insurance, common risks such as the physical structure of your home, replacement cost, personal contents, additional structures on your property, any additional living expenses, and personal liabilities risks are covered. Our agents always strive to go above and beyond for our clients, and we also offer coverage for unique valuable items and collectibles, flood, earthquake, and umbrella policies. Penny Insurance proudly serves all of Western North Carolina as well as Tryon, Cliffs Communities and the Upstate of South Carolina area, and are licensed in both Georgia and Florida. Our professional personal insurance specialists can review your current policies today and provide you with a free quote for homeowners insurance. We know it’s more than a house, it’s a home.
Another important policy to consider during this time is personal liability insurance (umbrella policy). Many people are currently working from home and have family members, children, and pets at home for extended periods of time. Having an umbrella policy protects you from legal costs if you or a family member damages someone else’s property, causes harm or injury, or if someone is injured while on your property. This type of policy is especially important to consider for homeowners with children or pets, as you become responsible for any damages they may cause.
Rental Property Insurance
If your rental properties have been affected by travel restrictions due to COVID-19, contact us directly to see how we can help. We offer solutions for those in need of Condominium coverage, Vacation/Seasonal Homeowners, Vacant Home Insurance, and Rental Properties and our agents will work with you so you have the coverage you need.
Depending on your situation and the company your insurance is provided by, there may be relief available if you’re facing financial hardships due to COVID-19 and are unable to make mortgage or rent payments. Many of the companies we work with are extending payment deadlines and will work with you and your situation. Our agents are here to help with any questions you may have. In uncertain times, it is important to know that the place you call home is covered. We understand the investment you’ve made in your home, and we are here to protect it. At Penny Insurance, we want to give you a peace of mind as your insurance provider, even in the midst of a crisis.
With the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing to affect the daily lives of those around the world and those in our local economy, it is imperative to know the implications of coronavirus on insurance policies for businesses.
For business owners, the ever-shifting economy has caused a heightened concern for employee safety, risks of revenue loss, and increased liability risks. Navigating the state laws and regulations for businesses can be challenging, but our experienced agents at Penny Insurance are here to help. We have the knowledge and expertise to assist businesses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas with everything from General Liability Insurance, Employment Practices Liability Insurance, Business Auto Insurance and more.
During this time of crisis, reviewing your current policies in Employment Practices Liability Insurance, Excess Liability Insurance, and Business Auto Insurance are among the most important to consider. Employee Practices Liability insurance will provide you as an employer with the protection you need from claims made by employees, former employees, or even potential employees. Excess Liability Insurance, often called an Umbrella Policy is there to provide limits in excess of an underlying liability policy. Basically, if your business should have a crisis or unexpected issue that threatens its financial security, your Umbrella policy comes to the rescue. Lastly, during this Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to assess your Business Auto Insurance, especially if you are the owner of a restaurant or use work vehicles regularly. Be sure to inform your employees of your state’s policies and procedures, especially when handling food deliveries.
In addition, unfortunately, vacant buildings and offices are more at risk for theft and break ins during this time. If you are able, be sure to regularly check on your office building for any suspicious activity, and shut off the water supply to prevent leaks and water damage, and unplug all appliances to lower the risk of a fire. Keeping these things in mind, review your current insurance policy to be sure you are covered if a break in or other unfortunate event were to occur.
It is also important to remember that laws, requirements, and regulations vary by state, so what may apply to a business in South Carolina may not apply to a business in North Carolina. In addition, many of the companies we work with have amended their policies in an effort to ease the burdens business owners are facing. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for Business Interruption Coverage, Workers Compensation Coverage, Premium Audits, and more. If you need assistance navigating through new regulation or want to review your current insurance policies, we can help.
We don’t believe that “one size fits all” when it comes to business insurance policies. We work directly with the business owners to learn your unique risks to help design a plan that works for you. The right insurance customized for your business can be crucial to the short-term and long- term success of your business, especially in times of crisis.
Penny Insurance Agency has been serving our local areas and beyond since 1931. With deep roots in Hendersonville, NC, Lynn NC, and the surrounding areas, our agency understands the local economy, culture, and how our clients earn their livelihood. We are also licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Florida to better serve our clients’ needs.
The areas surrounding our local offices in Hendersonville, NC, Lynn, NC and beyond are agribusiness hubs with crop farms, equestrian operations, and more. “Agribusiness is NC’s #1 industry and makes up 20% of gross local product.” In fact, “Ornamentals, apples and berries are three of the large producers in Henderson County and the community enjoys a variety of other crops as well – sweet corn, strawberries, tomatoes and much more. We also have several livestock operations. Henderson County is blessed with a wonderful agribusiness industry.”
We understand the work agribusiness owners put into their farms and the resources it takes, and we are here to protect it. With Chubb Agribusiness Insurance, we can customize coverage plans for equine operations, hobby farms, dairy farms, small to mid-sized hog confinements, hay operations vegetable, fruit, and nut operations, and grain and other crop farms. Policies cover risks associated with dwellings, farm buildings, recreational vehicles, hay, machinery and other equipment, automobile and farm trucks, and livestock.
Our agents are conveniently accessible to agribusiness owners in Henderson county with our office Downtown Hendersonville, NC, but are not limited to insuring those in our area. While we love our locals, many of our clients own properties out of state and beyond our office.
In addition to our office in Downtown Hendersonville, we also have an office in Lynn, NC. We understand the rich history in equestrian sport in the area and involvement in the equestrian community, and we’re here to protect it. With the Tryon International Equestrian Center just 15 minutes away from our office and the local area brimming with equestrian enthusiasts and professionals, our agents are accessible and ready to discuss the right equine coverage for you.
“Chubb Agribusiness offers a broad range of equine insurance products and services, which were created to specifically address the risks of horse owners and boarders. From equine liability to equine property and casualty insurance, we have the flexibility to customize an insurance program to specifically fit the needs of our customers. The Chubb Agribusiness products provide complete property and liability packages for most equine properties. Whether you own a small horse farm for pleasure, an equestrian estate or commercial equine operation, we can design an equine coverage program to suit your unique needs.”
Our Chubb Equine Agribusiness Coverage protects against risks included liability, tack, hay, feed, dwellings and content, umbrella coverage, recreational vehicles, barns and outbuildings, automobiles and farm trucks, specifically scheduled items of value, and machinery and equipment.
Additionally, Agribusiness Equine Insurance can be customized further to cover scenarios such as increased liability limits and coverages, replacement cost coverage available for dwellings, household, personal property and farm buildings, farm extra expense, farm continuation coverage, extended replacement cost, livestock care, custody and control, tack away from premises, stable liability, riding academy liability, boarding liability, and shows and competition liability. We also offer increased coverage with two equine endorsements for owned tack equipment, signs and gates, hay in buildings, computer equipment, tack equipment in care, custody or control, rental reimbursement for horse transportation, rented golf carts, and newly acquired terrain vehicles.
At Penny Insurance Agency, our agents truly understand the local communities we live, work and play in, and our ultimate goal is to provide the best coverage for those in our area and beyond.
At Penny Insurance Agency, we offer comprehensive agribusiness insurance for a variety of agricultural operations through Chubb® Agribusiness. We are able to customize coverage to suit farm owners' unique needs and exposure to risks, and are licensed to insure in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas to better serve our clients.
We’ve compiled the key things you need to know when considering agribusiness insurance for your property.
What is Chubb Agribusiness Insurance?
Chubb Agribusiness exists to protect commercial agricultural institutions and farm and ranch property risk coverages in rural America. The target classes of what Chubb coverage covers include commercial feed, grain, and fertilizer manufacturers, processors and distributors, as well as farm and ranch coverage for equine, hobby, and crop institutions.
What Type of Farms Can Chubb Agribusiness Insurance Cover?
We can offer coverage for equine operations, hobby farms, dairy farms, small to mid-sized hog confinements, hay operations vegetable, fruit, and nut operations, and grain and other crop farms.
What Risks Does Chubb Agribusiness Insurance Cover?
Coverage needs can vary depending on whether the institution is commercial or non- commercial, but we cover risks associated with dwellings, farm buildings, recreational vehicles, hay, machinery and other equipment, automobile and farm trucks, and livestock.
Can Coverage be Customized?
Yes, we can customize your coverage to your property’s specific needs. We offer 3 levels of coverage– Standard, Select, and Select Plus, and can further customize plans considering liability limits and coverages, extended replacement cost, replacement costs- contents, pollutant cleanup and removal, farm extra expense, livestock care, custody and control.
What Does Chubb Agribusiness Equine Insurance Cover?
We understand the unique risks equestrian operations and institutions face and our goal is to thoroughly understand your property and offer unique coverage for your peace of mind.
In the event a claim needed to be filed, Chubb Equine Agribusiness Coverage protects against risks included liability, tack, hay, feed, dwellings and content, umbrella coverage, recreational vehicles, barns and outbuildings, automobiles and farm trucks, specifically scheduled items of value, and machinery and equipment.
In addition, Agribusiness Equine Insurance can be customized further to cover scenarios such as increased liability limits and coverages, replacement cost coverage available for dwellings, household, personal property and farm buildings, farm extra expense, farm continuation coverage, extended replacement cost, livestock care, custody and control, tack away from premises, stable liability, riding academy liability, boarding liability, and shows and competition liability. We also offer increased coverage with two equine endorsements for owned tack equipment, signs and gates, hay in buildings, computer equipment, tack equipment in care, custody or control, rental reimbursement for horse transportation, rented golf carts, and newly acquired terrain vehicles.
We understand the daily commitments you make for your farm, and we are here to protect what matters most to you.
Why Should I Consider Chubb Agribusiness Insurance?
If you own an agricultural institution, you understand the dedication, commitment, and resources it takes to run your operation. The risks associated with farms, ranches, and agricultural properties can be very high, we are here to ease your worries with comprehensive coverage. At Penny Insurance Agency, we don’t take protecting what matters most to you lightly. Give us a call today to discuss if Chubb Agribusiness Insurance is right for you.
As we have been for over 89 years, Penny Insurance is committed to you and is open for business via phone and/or email in order to support our clients when they need us most. In response to client needs, at this time, our carrier partners are making the following adjustments to their business practices:
- Providing billing support for customers affected by the Coronavirus
- Extensions on monthly payments without cancellation or fees
- Various digital options through online billing and customer portals
In addition to shifting with the current economic landscape, what sets us apart as an independent agency is our mission to provide the very best insurance protection at the most affordable price. Our goal is to go above and beyond for our clients and businesses who are in need of assistance.
During this time, we are available if you need to adjust or re-assess your current business coverage. We’ve been able to successfully help businesses lower their insurance premiums during this time by assessing adjusted sales and payroll figures, easing financial demands and providing a peace of mind.
As a family-operated insurance agency, we understand that sometimes, life just happens. That’s why we are here right when you need us. Our team of licensed, specialized insurance agents will work for you and with you, with insurance plans and service you can trust. We are privileged to call Western North Carolina home and have been a mainstay in this community for nearly a century.
If you have any questions, or simply want to explore your insurance coverage options, please give us a call at 828-692-9171. We are here for you.